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Project Information

Project Information


Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics


Project Scope:

The Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics (COSG) was formed in 2001 as a standing committee of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources. This committee succeeded three former entities: the Committee on Seismology, the U.S. Geodynamics Committee, and the Committee on Geodesy.

COSG provides independent advice to all levels of government and society on scientific, technical, and policy matters related to seismology, geodesy, and geodynamics.

Members are drawn from the public, academic, and private sectors and have a broad range of expertise and experience. The mission of the committee is as follows:

  • To foster and encourage understanding of the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the Earth.
  • To review and define basic and applied research activities in seismology, geodesy and geodynamics that contribute to federal agency missions.
  • To address the transfer of seismological and geody­namics knowledge to areas of public welfare and national need including topics such as earthquake science; geological hazards; energy, mineral, and water resources; national security, global climate change; land-use planning; and public education.
  • To foster long-term national efforts to collect, store and openly disseminate seismological, geodetic, and geodynamical data of all types.
  • To foster long-term national efforts to monitor geodynamical events as well as nuclear testing treaties using geophysical technologies.
  • To serve as the U.S. member of the International Lithosphere Program.

Status: Current

PIN: DELS-BESR-18-P-87

RSO: Glickson, Deborah

Board(s)/Committee(s):

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Topic(s):

Earth Sciences



Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership


Thorsten W. Becker - (Chair)
THORSTEN W. BECKER, Chair, is the Shell Distinguished Chair in Geophysics at the Institute for Geophysics and the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin. His main research interests are in geodynamics and seismology with a focus on interactions between mantle convection and surface tectonics—studying the inner workings of terrestrial planets and how their mantle and surface systems have co-evolved over time. He combines field, laboratory, and numerical approaches into dynamical models, focusing on the physics of plate tectonics from grain-scale deformation to plate-scale flow. Recent research projects include work on seismic anisotropy, mantle heat transport and the mechanics of plate tectonics, subduction dynamics, and fault system mechanics. He has co-authored more than 110 publications and was named an AGU Fellow in 2015. Dr. Becker holds an M.Sc. in physics from J. W. Goethe University, a Ph.D. in geophysics from Harvard University, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
Mark D. Behn
MARK D. BEHN is a senior scientist in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Dr. Behn’s research investigates the dynamics of Earth deformation in glacial, marine, and terrestrial environments through the use of a wide range of geophysical techniques. These techniques include the development of geodynamic models that relate laboratory-based rheologic and petrologic models to the large-scale behavior of the Earth, which are then applied to a spectrum of problems from basic science to societally-relevant issues. His research interests include dynamics of faulting, magmatism, and surface processes at mid-ocean ridges and continental rifts; seismic anisotropy and imaging of sub-asthenospheric mantle flow; evolution of the continental crust; and ice-sheet dynamics. He is the co-chair of the Geodynamics Focus Research Group for the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, was active in the MARGINS/GeoPRISMS program, and is a former fellow of the WHOI Deep Ocean Exploration Institute. Dr. Behn received his B.S. in geology from Bates College and a Ph.D. in marine geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/WHOI Joint Program.
Cynthia Ebinger
CYNTHIA (CINDY) EBINGER is a professor and Marshall-Heape Chair in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University. Her current research aims to understand the partitioning of strain between faulting and magmatic processes within continental and oceanic rift zones over time scales of hours to millennia and the longer-term evolution of continental rift zones from initiation to continental rupture. Her interest in continental rifts and plate boundary deformation began as an undergraduate at Duke University when she took part in a National Science Foundation-sponsored research project in the volcanically and seismically active East African rift zone. Dr. Ebinger served as a former president of the Tectonophysics Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and was recently named an AGU Fellow for her "fundamental work on the evolution of continental rifts toward seafloor spreading in East Africa and afar." Dr. Ebinger earned her B.S. in geology from Duke University, S.M. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Ph.D. in oceanography from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program.
Jeffrey T. Freymueller
JEFFREY T. FREYMUELLER is the Thomas A. Vogel Endowed Chair for Geology of the Solid Earth in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan State University. Dr. Freymueller is an internationally recognized leader in the field of geodesy and utilizes satellites from the Global Positioning System (GPS) to make highly precise measurements of movement on the Earth’s surface. In his far-reaching research activities, he has made discoveries in a wide range of topics including plate tectonics and plate boundary zones, faults dynamics, the continuing rebound of the Earth’s surface from the melting of ice-age glaciers, inflation and deflation of volcanoes, and interpreting how changing water and ice levels deform the Earth. He is particularly well-cited for his work on using GPS to understand the crustal deformation in China related to the formation of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. In addition to his research, Dr. Freymueller is the director of the EarthScope National Office. EarthScope is a long-term, large-scale program funded by the National Science Foundation to study the structure and evolution of North America and associated hazards through the deployment of thousands of geophysical instruments throughout the country. Dr. Freymueller also has served the scientific community as the U.S. National Correspondent to the International Association of Geodesy and its representative to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, has served terms as an associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research and the Journal of Geodesy, and is currently Editor in Chief of the International Association of Geodesy Symposia Series. Dr. Freymueller received his M.S. and Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of South Carolina.
Matthew Pritchard
MATTHEW PRITCHARD is an associate professor of geophysics at Cornell University. He is interested in how the Earth's surface deforms in response to earthquakes, magma movements, glacier dynamics, and human manipulation of subsurface fluids (e.g., carbon sequestration, hydrocarbon withdrawal). Dr. Pritchard uses a variety of tools including Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (INSAR), GPS, and laser scanning to study deformation. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the International Association for Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior. He served on the UNAVCO Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012 and currently serves on the advisory board of the Carl Sagen Institute. He earned a B.S. in physics from the University of Chicago and an M.S. and Ph.D. in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.
Maya Tolstoy
MAYA TOLSTOY is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University in New York. She is a marine geophysicist specializing in seafloor earthquakes and volcanoes. She has worked extensively on the structure and seismicity associated with mid-ocean ridges and, in particular, how earthquakes in this environment can be used to illuminate hydrothermal and magmatic processes. In addition, she has done research on hydroacoustic signals and anthropogenic noise in the ocean. Dr. Tolstoy has extensive seagoing experience, having participated in 31 seagoing expeditions; on 18 of those she was chief or co-chief scientist. She currently helps oversee the LDEO Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP), serves on the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology’s OBSIP management council, and is a member of the Cascadia Initiative Expedition Team implementing the Cascadia Amphibious Array community experiment. In 2009, she was one of 47 finalists for NASA’s astronaut selection and is the recipient of the 2009 Wings Worldquest Sea Award honoring women in exploration. Dr. Tolstoy has also done extensive outreach work to communicate the excitement and importance of earth science to nonscience audiences. She holds a B.Sc. Honors in geophysics from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Earth science from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.
William Walter
WILLIAM (BILL) R. WALTER is a research geophysicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he leads the Geophysical Monitoring Programs. He is also the Chief Scientist for the DOE/NNSA Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation sponsored Source Physics Experiments. His research areas include geophysics and seismology, seismic source physics, Earth structure, tectonics, treaty verification, and related policy issues. He served on the Seismic Subcommittee for the National Academies of Sciences panel that issued a 2012 report updating the technical issues related to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. He is the author or co-author of more than 75 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Dr. Walter received a B.A. in physics from Middlebury College, a M.S. in physics from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Events


Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

The dates for this meeting have been set, however further details on theme are in development. Please check back later for more information. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Courtney DeVane
Contact Email:  cdevane@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2743

Agenda
-
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

The application of computational algorithms such as neural networks that underpin machine learning (ML) have grown within geophysics over the past several decades. In recent years, the increasing power of computing systems when combined with exponentially growing data holdings is leading to exciting new results and tremendous interest in ML and its application in the geophysical sciences. The solid Earth geosciences have large datasets and are developing the expertise to make major contributions to the ML discipline as a scientific discovery tool.  

This meeting reviews progress and future investments needed for a more concerted and long term effort to combine datasets with appropriate data-intensive computing resources. This is the natural laboratory necessary for data and geoscientists to most effectively work together, and COSG will discuss how those workflows can be combined with approaches that provide insights into the physics of earth systems, beyond black-box applications.

 

Video Recordings


Panel 1: Review of Recent Applications of Machine Learning in Geophysics


Karianne Bergen, Harvard University
Zachary Ross, California Institute of Technology
Diego Melgar, University of Oregon


Panel 2: Next Practical Steps to Accelerate and Broaden Use of ML in the Geosciences


Qingkai Kong, University of California, Berkeley (remote)


Panel 3: Machine Learning Lessons Learned in Related Fields: Remote Sensing, Physics and Astrophysics


Hannah Kerner, University of Maryland
Brice Ménard, Johns Hopkins University


Panel 4: Lessons Learned and Next Steps to Advance the Science


Greg Beroza, Stanford University


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

The topic of earthquake and volcanic eruption prediction has a long history, littered with failed attempts. While it is well known that a significant fraction of large earthquakes have precursors in the form of smaller magnitude foreshocks at the eventual rupture site, it has not to date been possible to determine which earthquakes are foreshocks and which are not until after the fact. For volcanoes, precursory phenomena have long been used to forecast eruptions on land, albeit imperfectly so.

Several recent studies have shown the potential of new technologies to detect precursory earthquakes and slow-slip phenomena as well as geodetic and gravitational transients weeks to years before large earthquakes. Together with increasing evidence of deterministic links between physical processes and seismicity patterns, there is the promise to more fully understand earthquake and eruption cycles and to enhance our predictive and forecasting capabilities for these important natural hazards.

The societal implications of understanding the range of precursory signals are large, but many questions remain. How do we assess whether there is an imminent (e.g., hours to days) threat at places such as the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the San Andreas fault, or the southeast flank of Kilauea? How frequently do these precursors occur, and in which plate tectonic settings? How often do they result in large earthquakes or eruptions? Are there certain characteristics of the precursor(s) that make them more or less likely to result in a large earthquake or eruption? What instrumentation do we need on- and off-shore to best record these potential precursory events?

 

Video Recordings

 

Keynote


Opportunities and Challenges in Studying Precursory Phenomena: Overview
Emily Brodsky, University of California, Santa Cruz

 

Panel 1: Scientific Opportunities and Challenges in Studying Precursory Phenomena

 

Some Precursory Slow Slip Signatures in Chilean Subduction Earthquakes
Sergio Ruiz, Universidad de Chile

Long Term Transient Deformation Prior to the 2011 Magnitude 9 Tohoku-oki Earthquake
Paul Segall, Stanford University

 

Panel 2: Techniques and Technologies

 

GRACE Gravity Signals Before a Great Subduction Earthquake
Isabelle Panet, IGN

Optimizing Subduction Zone Monitoring
Sarah Minson, USGS

Sea-Surface GPS: Recent Advances
Bruce Haines, NASA

Towards Establishing Long Term Geodetic Benchmarks on the Seafloor using Underwater Acoustic GPS
Bud Vincent, University of Rhode Island

Seafloor Pressure Sensors
Spahr Webb, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

The Use of Seafloor Cabled Observatories to Study Precursory Phenomena
William Wilcock, University of Washington

Broadband Earthquake Array Seismology with Fiber-Optic DAS
Nate Lindsey, University of California, Berkeley

 

Panel 3: Scientific Opportunities and Challenges in Studying Precursory Phenomena

 

2016 Bombay Beach Swarm and its Effect on the San Andreas Fault
Morgan Page, USGS

Potential Precursors for Other Earthquakes from Observations of the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake
Laura Wallace, GNS New Zealand

 

Concluding Remarks

 

Roland Burgmann
University of California, Berkeley


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Courtney DeVane
Contact Email:  cdevane@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2743

Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

Seismic events pose a serious risk to life and infrastructure across the U.S. Yet these events are rare, making the historic record incomplete and our understanding of their impacts limited. In addition, seismicity rates have been substantially modified by human activities over the last decade adding an additional unknown to future hazards. COSG hopes to review the state of knowledge, the uncertainties, and strategies to improve hazard estimates and will explore the approaches used to estimate the hazard. COSG is interested in how recent advances in understanding of the earthquake processes, along with the collection of new massive seismic datasets, might be used to improve assessments of the hazard.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Courtney DeVane
Contact Email:  cdevane@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2743

Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

NRSB and COSG explored issues related to seismic hazards and nuclear waste storage. The focus of this meeting included both long-term repositories such as Yucca Mountain, but also interim storage facilities such as those at decommissioned and active nuclear power plants. There was a focus on civilian nuclear waste (from commercial, government, and research reactors) rather than military waste.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Webinar

Description :   

Is the West coast ready for a 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by a large tsunami? Geoscience data and information collected over the last 30 years show that multiple giant earthquakes and associated local tsunamis have struck the Pacific Northwest (including Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Southwestern British Columbia) for at least the past 10,000 years. The 800-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), which stretches from northern California to southern British Columbia, is the main source of these earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis. This three-part webinar series will look at the science and engineering associated with the earthquake source, the hazards, current strategies to mitigate loss of life, and emerging opportunities in early warning and reducing uncertainty.


Speakers

Richard Allen
Director
Berkeley Seismology Labs

Diego Melgar
Assistant Professor
University of Oregon


Video Recordings

Cascadia Megaquake: Part 3 - Earthquake Early Warning and Tsunami Modeling


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

Over the last few years, multiple geoscience community activities have been exploring the rich research opportunities and needs in subduction zone science. Recently published documents including the community workshop report The SZ4D Initiative: Understanding the Processes that Underlie Subduction Zone Hazards in 4D, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) study Volcanic Eruptions and Their Repose, Unrest, Precursors, and Timing, and the USGS subduction zone science plan Reducing Risk Where Tectonic Plates Collide, are part of the development of plans and implementation of offshore observatories in several subduction zones around the world. This one-day workshop hosted by the NASEM’s Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics brought together scientists from academic and governmental domains to share current planning efforts, discuss scientific targets, and identify synergistic opportunities for coordination in an effort to propel the pursuit of subduction zone science into the next decade.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Webinar

Description :   

Is the West coast ready for a 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by a large tsunami? Geoscience data and information collected over the last 30 years show that multiple giant earthquakes and associated local tsunamis have struck the Pacific Northwest (including Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Southwestern British Columbia) for at least the past 10,000 years. The 800-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), which stretches from northern California to southern British Columbia, is the main source of these earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis. This three-part webinar series will look at the science and engineering associated with the earthquake source, the hazards, current strategies to mitigate loss of life, and emerging opportunities in early warning and reducing uncertainty.

Part 2 of the series focused on the current strategies to mitigate loss of life.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Agenda
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Webinar

Description :   

Is the West coast ready for a 9.0 magnitude earthquake followed by a large tsunami? Geoscience data and information collected over the last 30 years show that multiple giant earthquakes and associated local tsunamis have struck the Pacific Northwest (including Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Southwestern British Columbia) for at least the past 10,000 years. The 800-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), which stretches from northern California to southern British Columbia, is the main source of these earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis. This three-part webinar series will look at the science and engineering associated with the earthquake source, the hazards, current strategies to mitigate loss of life, and emerging opportunities in early warning and reducing uncertainty. 

Part 1 of the series will highlight the work of two prominent scientists, Dr. Kelin Wang of the Geological Survey of Canada and Dr. Joan Gomberg of the U.S. Geological Survey/University of Washington.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Agenda
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

This meeting of the Committee on Seismology and Geodynanmics focused on a discussion with current sponsors and revelant Federal Agendies. It also had a session on Communicating the Value of Geoscience to Society, with presentations from:

  • Kase White, GSA
  • Maeve Boland, AGI
  • Liz Landau, AGU
  • Elizabeth Duffy, Federal Affairs Office

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Deborah Glickson
Contact Email:  dglickson@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2024

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Publications